Nabila Al-Anjari

KUWAIT: There is growing deterioration in recreational activities and spending on domestic tourism in Kuwait, which poses considerable social threats to various sects of citizens and residents, a recent report shows. This was mentioned in a report released by the Leaders Group for Consulting and Development, the representative of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Kuwait, covering the recent developments in the tourism sector in the country. The monthly report discusses collected data about travel traffic during the Eid Al-Fitr vacation, Kuwait's recreational sector and predictions about the upcoming summer vacation.

Leaders Group General Manager Nabila Al-Anjari warned in the report of restrictions made on juveniles and youth who cannot afford to travel, yet cannot find enough recreational facilities in which they can spend their free time during holidays and vacations. "This makes them an easy prey for drugs, violence or any other negative practices that they might resort to just to steam out," she warned.

According to field studies, it costs a Kuwaiti family of four an average of KD 1,500 to travel to Dubai and Turkey for four days during Eid Al-Fitr holiday, for instance. In comparison, this amount is almost the same cost a family would pay to spend the same period in a chalet in Kuwait. "This calls for building more resorts and recreation facilities that families can use for reasonable prices," Anjari added, noting that three quarters of Kuwaitis remained in Kuwait during the recent Eid holiday.

Anjari argued that due to the number of people who remained in Kuwait, all parks and beaches were heavily crowded despite the heat, which she said confirms the need for more recreational facilities. "The deteriorating infrastructure deprives those remaining in Kuwait from decent recreational options," she stressed, comparing this situation with other GCC states.

Further, Anjari said that projects such as the Entertainment City development had been stagnant since the facility closed down for restoration in 2016, which made the Amiri Diwan adopt the project last April and prioritize it. "We hope the project will not be delayed for more than three years," she said, expressing fears that more recreational facilities would deteriorate because nothing had changed so far in their management. She also noted that bad planning for tourism seems to be as depressing as the sluggishness of many other projects related to the New Kuwait 2035 Vision, such as the railway project and many others. "These situations result from defective planning, bad programs, delayed schedules and lack of supervision," she concluded.